ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Merlin UX Architects skillfully elicit and analyze business and user needs, employing iterative cycles of customer journey mapping, solution storyboarding, and prototyping techniques to drive clarification and gain consensus on the “right” solution design.  Leveraging the UX architecture and design to prioritize and road-map capabilities, whether Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) configured or built, Merlin customers are able to seamlessly progress from “As-Is” to a highly designed, results-driven “To-Be.”

Our UX Architecture and Design efforts skillfully synthesize the results of requirements, architecture, storyboarding, and horizontal and vertical prototyping efforts to create the right boundaries within which solutions are delivered.

Merlin’s UX Architecture and Design process includes:

As a part of design efforts, our engineers meet with key stakeholders and users, study existing technologies, and identify business and system requirements. We combine information learned through the customer with independent research on emerging technologies and industry trends to define the “As-Is” and the “To-Be” solution, including key features, system constraints, budgetary considerations, and Governance and Compliance drivers.

Solution Architects fully vet the systems and sub-systems to understand inter-dependencies, and design a “To-Be” technical and UX architecture. The UX architecture ensures the solution will provide the value it is intended to provide to users. Solution recommendations are documented and critical architectural elements are presented in a highly visual Solution Architecture Diagram – a deliverable unique to Team Merlin. Other artifacts may include white papers and product comparison matrices that compare/contrast risks, benefits, costs and feasibility of solution elements.

VA Paperless Claims Processing

When recommendations involve the development or configuration of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) or define visual workflow steps, proposed architecture will be accompanied by GUI mocks or visualized UX steps, presented in a storyboarding presentation (also known as Paper Prototyping). Customers can walk through proposed solution recommendations before any code is written or engineering work executed to see how enhancements or proposed functionality will be experienced by users. Storyboarding can also be used to determine how COTS solutions can be best configured prior to deployment.
While not all solution designs benefit from prototyping (i.e. batch processing or system-driven calculations), Merlin embraces both horizontal (UX-centric) and vertical (system/ design-centric) for those define/design efforts that involve the development of customized applications and interfaces. Prototyping is generally accepted in the industry as an approach that reduces time and cost. Using rapid prototyping tools such as Balsamiq for simple UI flows and frameworks such as Bootstrap, Foundation and Angular JS for web-based solutions to name a few - proposed solution recommendations can be built and tested by users and business owners to ensure appropriate translation of requirements into a designed solution.

As applications are increasingly deployed on web-based platforms relying on service-oriented architectures, Merlin works to ensure that application and deployment configuration designs deliver for the customer. This means designing and/or analyzing applications for web-based UI conventions, browser compatibility, performance, access-control, security compliance, off-line capabilities with re-connect synchronization services, and alignment with Enterprise Architectural standards.

VBA Standard Application Software Architecture

Merlin designs, deploys, secures and maintains applications using cross-platform development tools, delivering app solutions that run on today’s most common mobile environments such as iOS and Google Android. Using prototyping tools such as Balsamiq to design for mobile experiences, our UX Architects translate user needs into highly intuitive apps that extend business operations to the smart phones and tablets that are rapidly augmenting and at times replacing traditional computing devices. In synchronization with cloud computing, mobile computing has become a cornerstone of business operations, and an integral part of IT solutions. Our developers understand the need for smart-device solutions, and are equipped to build applications that cross platforms, functioning on a desktop as well as a mobile environment. Our teams deliver:
     
  • Browser-based Applications with Synchronized Mobile Capabilities
  • iPhone and Android App design and development
  • Applications running on multiple tablet technologies
  • Application Security solutions for Mobile Computing